CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 17 . . . . April 25, 2003
Beneath barren Cardy Plain lies the Firedrake, a dragon-like creature around which has been trapped a piece of the Wheel of Time. The Arkanan wizards, having earlier realized their powers of evil, discovered this key to creating eternal life. However, they still require the assistance of the Wolves as protectors, and they use their powers to maintain this relationship. But a prophecy foretells of a trio of Wolves, comprised of a madman, a wizard and a blind woman, which threatens to destroy the Firedrake and the wizards themselves, thus freeing the Perinan. The enormity of this task weighs heavily as Shan realizes that she is the blind woman.
Ewan's first novel is a solid “good-versus-evil” story
whose success is due to various factors. Ewan has created several
plausible groups of characters (Arkanan, Perinan, Kunan Keir, Iluthians)
whose conflicts and struggles move the story steadily and evenly towards
a dramatic climax and satisfying resolution. Readers with a taste
for action, magic and wizards will find the plot (and its subplots)
engaging and lively. Quieter narrative sections, such as “storytelling,”
flesh out the background material while vivid physical settings include
underground mazes and rugged countryside. Ewan achieves believable
character development particularly with Shan who, as a young woman
in her mid-teens, is acutely aware of the characteristics that isolate
her from both the world of the Perinan and the Kunan Keir. Young adults
will empathize with her feelings of both inadequacy and self-discovery.
Ewan's formal education in old languages is evident in the style of
speech and personal and place names that contribute to the atmosphere
of an epic legend.
Tom Knutson is a librarian with Saskatoon Public Library, Saskatoon, SK.
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